Congratulations to Josh Utter-Leyton taking down the MTGO championship with his Mardu ballista Standard deck. We are one week into the full spoiler list going up on Modern Masters 2017 and cards have started to find their home, temporary or otherwise. It's worth noting that Pauper got some sweet rarity shifted cards in MM17. A banned/restricted announcement is on the horizon, the Modern meta is still undecided, Standard is all but solved and Frontier is starting to pushed more. Let's see what happened this week in Magic!
There were bigger spikes in relation to percentages this week, but the shocker for me was Fulminator Mage. A modern sideboard and sometimes mainboard all-star, it should be no surprise that it has gone up. I definitely slept on Fulmys as they always have been a staple and always obtainable. Black based decks are on the rise and since it wasn't reprinted in MM17, it saw a large increase in demand. There are several ways to abuse Fulmy, but even at face value it's a terrific creature.
Karn Liberated has spiked to his all-time high and it's partially due to the fact that he was left out of the MM17 set. It's crazy that a planeswalker that basically only sees play in one archetype (tron) and a few commander decks can be so expensive. Although it's worth noting that most Tron players are diehard and will hold onto their copies until you pry them from their cold, colorless hands. Tron is a great deck to battle the midrange B/G/x decks that are super popular right now, and coupled with the limited amount of copies available, I could see Karn being a $100 card in a few years.
The original big daddy himself, Colossus of Sardia has seen a mini buyout. This card drums up memories of constructing the most Ludacris concoctions just so I could cast this monster. At the time, there weren't many ways to handle this once it hit the field. It was larger than anything else, trampled and was an artifact (looking at you Terror!) Oddly, this isn't a reserved list card, but that doesn't mean the Antiquities printing will be any less valuable if for some reason they decide to reprint a 9/9 trample for 9 that costs 9 to untap. Probably unlikely…
Through the Breach spiked yet again, and it's becoming quite unobtainable in price. It's hit yet another all-time high and really shows no sign of stopping. I think the only thing that would make Through the Breach drop in price is a ban on Simian Spirit Guide. It sees play in Legacy Sneak and Show and several Modern decks (Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle, Goryo's Vengeance, etc.) Coupled with Simian Spirit Guide it's an instant speed way to get yourself an Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, Griselbrand or Primeval Titan out on the cheap.
Noble Hierarch also spiked this week after being left out of the MM17 printings. Many people dumped their copies before the spoilers were posted, assuming that it would be printed. I wouldn't be surprised if it hit an all-time high over the next few weeks. One of the best mana dorks ever printed deserves a spot at the top. Unfortunately, if you wanted to build a deck that included 4x of Nobles, your deck just got a bit more expensive.
The card you're most likely to wish you had purchased a ton of is Merchant Scroll. Both printings saw a steep incline this week. It sees play in several Legacy and has recently found a home in Modern Storm (example deck list here.) It also sees Commander play, so it's odd that it stayed so cheap for so long. I've used it in just about any blue based Commander deck that wanted to do dirty, dirty things. With only two printings to speak of, it's hard to say when this card will settle back down to an uninflated price.
Three Wishes spiked, and as far as I can see, it's somewhat of an unknown. It sees basically no play and I don't think even the jankiest of deck builders would want it. That being said, it is a reserved list card, so I guess we're supposed to expect the inevitable. It will probably settle back down to over a buck and hang out there until someone decided to buy and horde more.
City of Shadows, another reserved list card, has spiked. This does see some Commander play, but more importantly the art is awesome. I'd be more likely to buy a card like this than Three Wishes, as cards from the Dark are near and dear to me. It's still a useable sac out and a slow mana storage land.
I hope you own a copy or copies of foil Merchant Scroll, because those bad boys went through the roof. Karn Liberated also followed suit with its non-foil counterpart and skyrocketed. Makes me sad I dumped mine for $100 each. Mishra's Bauble nearly double in price as players start to settle in with their new Modern decks, finally deciding to foil them out. Fabricate also saw a huge spike, a bit delayed from its non-foil spike. Bloom Tender, a commander card that spiked a few months ago, hit the big time! Finally, Rest in Peace decided that it was time to spike, although it's seen Modern sideboard play for ages.
It's been awhile since I have done this segment, so I figured now would be the perfect time. Starting with Modern Masters 2017, now is definitely the time to pick up any and all reprints you were hoping for. The window of opportunity won't be open for long as initial panic selling and market instability will cause a moment in time where you can grab your Modern staples for rock bottom prices. Additionally, people will be moving into certain decks at a higher rate, so I'd pick up deck pieces while they are still cheap (Burn, Jund, Grixis, etc.) Lastly, the banned list. Chances are there will be no changes, however, let's say something like Splinter Twin comes off of the banned list. It might be worth getting your playset now. I'm just saying that Twin is borderline worthless to anyone but a Commander player right now, so getting a few for yourself wouldn't be a bad investment.
Last week's chart was Sensei's Divining Top. Some people were stumped, but others still managed to pick up on it. This week, a staple for many decks.
This week I'd like to discuss deck building in Commander and ways to keep it fresh if you start to get burned out on it. There's no doubt that you can build a Commander deck in many, many ways. One of the things that I did when I started getting burned out was start a budget Commander group. No card could be over $2 on www.mtgstocks.com and the “banned list” of cards over $2 would rotate each time a new product of cards came out. There was a 2 week grace period when a new set would come out so people could still play with cards that were $2 before they spiked. (Hangarback Walker is a prime example of this rule in place.) It gave all of us a chance to build a Commander deck with new eyes and it was fun to play with either underpowered or obscure cards. I think everyone should build at least one fun, obscure or thematic deck. Additionally, I think that all Commander players should build at least one “no excuses” deck. Regardless of the game setting, people will always have something to gripe about regarding a player's deck building or play style. I encourage everyone to build at least one deck that doesn't make excuses, but only cares about winning. It will up the stakes of your local play group and you'll find highly competitive Commander games just as rewarding as the fun, casual games.
I'd like to introduce you to Cauldron Haze. A fantastically cute trick to play just before you or someone else wipes the board. The best part about the card is that you can target ANYONE's creatures. It's a great way to be political and incite conversation about what gets to stick around.